CEOs Across Asia Advance Support for LGBTQ+ Equality Through Business Practices

HSBC, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and Swire Host 10th Annual Out Leadership Asia Summit as LGBTQ+ Progress is Made in Tokyo and Hong Kong

HONG KONG, SAR / TOKYO, JAPAN – As key LGBTQ+ advancements are made in Asia, Out Leadership, the premier global LGBTQ+ organization harnessing the power of business to drive equality, announces its 10th Annual Asia Summit in Hong Kong and Tokyo. Senior business leaders from across the continent are convening to strategize how to leverage their economic power to forward the cause of LGBTQ+ equality.

“What we have seen over the last decade, both in our work with the world’s leading businesses throughout Asia, and also in our research and data, is that strong diversity and inclusion policies are directly tied to the overall health and economic security of businesses and their employees,” said Todd Sears, Founder and CEO of Out Leadership, Out Leadership, the premier global LGBTQ+ organization harnessing the power of business to drive equality. “With the recent landmark rulings in favor of LGBTQ+ equality in both Tokyo and Hong Kong, it is clear that the progress toward full LGBTQ+ inclusion in Asia will have a strong positive impact on workforce development, talent retention, and company culture, all of which will directly support the economic prosperity of the region.”

The Out Leadership Asia Summit coincides with last week’s victories for the LGBTQ+ community in both the Japanese Supreme Court and a Hong Kong court, on gender change procedures and inheritance rights, respectively.

During the summit, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel, addressed the global and regional business leaders saying, “Businesses have a unique role to play in the fight for equality. As you control the diversity of your workplace through hiring, promotions, and customer relations – and more importantly, where you embrace a set of values and set an example for society at large. Not only is equality the right thing to do, it also makes for good business sense.”

You can watch Ambassador Emanuel’s full address here

For interviews with Todd Sears of Out Leadership about the Asia Summit and/or its impact on the global marketplace, please contact Kristofer Eisenla at

In Hong Kong, Out Leadership will welcome thought leaders from across the region to a VIP Dinner, hosted by Luanne Lim, Chief Executive Hong Kong, HSBC on November 2nd. On November 6th, Out Leadership will convene leading CEOs from across the region to discuss the intersection of business and LGBTQ+ equality at a dinner hosted by Swire and HSBC featuring Greg Hingston, CEO of HSBC Global Insurance & Partnerships. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer will host an OutNEXT Salon on the morning of November 1st, bringing Out Leadership’s flagship talent development program for emerging LGBTQ+ leaders back to Asia.

In Tokyo, Out Leadership and HSBC will host a VIP reception featuring an impressive panel including Edward Weeks, President and Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Japan; Joy Ho, General Manager, Unilever Japan; Takeshi Nakao, Managing Partner, Freshfields Japan; and Eric Yaptangco, Division Director, Manila Technology and Office Head, Macquarie.

This year, Out Leadership is proud to partner with the Gay Games, which will be co-hosted between Hong Kong and Guadalajara beginning on November 3rd. Out Leadership supported Hong Kong in its original bid to host the Games in 2017 – led by Out in HK and Dennis Philipse,

Out Leadership convened the first-ever LGBTQ+ business summit in Asia in 2013, co-hosted by HSBC and Barclays, which sparked a renewed debate about LGBTQ+ equality in Hong Kong when HSBC illuminated its iconic, skyline-defining headquarters into a giant rainbow. The summit expanded in 2014, with more than 400 business leaders and 22 CEOs rejoining HSBC featuring a discussion with Manvendra Singh Gohil, the world’s first openly gay prince.

The summit expanded further in 2015 with the addition of OutNEXT and in 2016 with the first-ever OutWOMEN+ event in Asia, hosted by Standard Chartered and featuring openly LGBTQ+, Paralympic medalist Theresa Goh. In 2018, Out Leadership added its board diversity initiative, OutQUORUM, to the Asia Summit and presented an OutWOMEN+ event featuring Gigi Chao, Executive Vice President of Cheuk Nang Holdings and Out Leadership board member.

The Asia Summit expanded to Japan in 2019, when Out Leadership convened senior business leaders in Tokyo to advocate for marriage equality, hosted by Nomura. In 2022, Out Leadership convened the first-ever gathering of CEOs in Japan to discuss LGBTQ+ equality and continue the push for marriage equality, hosted by HSBC.


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